People are aware that our corners and safeties aren't the best and would rather take their chances challenging that group than waiting for our pass rush on seven step drops. Especially with Luke out of the middle to keep teams honest in pass coverage. Short passes done well is the closest thing to an indefensible play as there is in football, as we saw yesterday. People blaming the pass rush are out to lunch. McCown managed the game like an absolute professional and wasn't asked to make the difficult throws until the game was on the line. When he did, Norman made him pay. Three step drop and out in just a few seconds. No time for a pass rush to get there. Plus, our corners aren't great at press coverage. They're not an overly physical unit. Big bodied WR and TE are able to box them out and make short catches. Lost in the shuffle is that Sean Payton called a great game with a backup QB. Credit where credit is due. He didn't ask McCown to do anything unreasonable until he was forced to make him attack down the field and when he did, we made him pay. The Saints wanted to run the same offense they ran in the 1st quarter for the whole game. Killing clock and putting pressure on our offense after 5+ minute drives. It almost worked.
Finally. Someone who gets it. You're an idiot if you call blitzes against whatever modified WCO they were running with all those slants and hot routes. McCown managed the game with precision. Sometimes it's less about what you do and more about what they do. In the passing game, McCown did a great job exploiting our linebacking unit without Luke lurking in the middle. It was a perfect gameplan and the pass rushing had little to do with it. You can't get your hands on a guy if he gets it out quick because he's happy to take the 3 or 4 yards you give him. When a guy is that dialed in, it doesn't matter what you do.
Saints came in with an incredible game plan. The pass rush wasn't the problem. We would have been silly to send more than four with as many quick hitting three step drops and slants that they were running. Any time they tried to go deep, we had it handled. It's just that without Luke in the middle and with Shaq being green in pass coverage, the Saints were able to exploit us on quick routes. Luke McCown played a perfect game manager game and when that happens, there's not much you can do to stop it. What hurt the Saints was not being able to get into 3rd and manageable enough because their run game couldn't get started. The first quarter was exactly the kind of game they wanted to play, but our offense getting points back so quickly made it where they were forced to attack downfield. That's when the scales tipped to our favor. Our offense ran the inverse. We were able to do damage on first down that put us in position to take chunks on 2nd and 3rd down. We were a big play team today against a dink and dunk squad. It could have gone either way. Fortunately, there were about ten pivotal plays in this game and we made more than half of them. My only issue is that our final offensive drive should have been a bit more creative. Not two runs straight into piles and then an incompletion on 3rd down to stop the clock. When a first down wins you the game and you know it, you have to break out something creative and quick. An end around to Brown (which worked pretty well the only other time they ran it) or a smoke route high percentage completion that keeps the clock running but also puts our guys in space to get the yards they need. This two draws and putting the whole game on 3rd and 8 is just rubbish. Shula isn't great at calling the gut punch plays at the end of the game. He views the final possession when we have the lead as a means to run off clock and burn timeouts. It's going to cost us.
http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/13657212/cam-newton-left-florida-gators-teammates-wondering-lost-potential ESPN is still on board with trying to diminish Cam Newton for what happened in Florida. 7 years after he left the squad. I'm so tired of this bullshit. The man clearly matured, understood what he needed to do in order to be a leader, and became a better person. Why do these articles continuously pop up while other guys continue to get passes for everything they've done? I hear more about Cam Newton's past than I hear about Roethlisberger's and there nowhere near comparable. Some people can't get over Cam's "fake smile." It's ridiculous.
He's not a traditional TE and his lack of blocking ability would hurt us. If he can't beat out the group of WR he's competing against, he doesn't deserve to be on the field. Trying to find ways to get him on the field when he can't supplant Jerricho Cotchery and Philly Brown is counter-intuitive. The truth is that we were spoiled by Kelvin Benjamin last season who was surprisingly ready to start despite a lot of red flags about being too big, having quickness issues, and uncertainty about his route running. Funchess has the same concerns, but seems like he will need more time to address them. There's nothing wrong with making your rookies beat people in order to get on the field. If they're made of what NFL players are made of, they'll work their way into the game. Give him some time. He's about 2 weeks behind schedule due to all that hamstring drama. They're going to work him in slowly.
Disappointed we didn't keep Ward, but this isn't a lead draw league anymore. As much as it pains me to say, the days of that kind of player making a roster at this point are slim. If you're not an H back, your chances as a fullback exclusive for blocking means you've got about 5 teams in the league that might be interested.